Nine smart things to do while job hunting

Nine smart things to do while job hunting

If you’re looking for work, it pays to use your time wisely. Here’s how

By Sophie Cole

Question: what’s the smart thing to do while searching for work?

Answer: use the time constructively to look after yourself and improve your employability.

    Establish a routine so you have a reason to get out of bed and on with your day.  

That’s the view of the experts at Just Recruitment, who have an enviable track record of placing candidates in jobs that are just right for their skills. We asked for the advice they’d give to people who are between jobs. This is what they had to say.

1. Stay motivated

“It’s easy when job hunting to find yourself slipping into a feeling of laziness or indifference to the world,” says Tracey Bates (Business Manager) from Just Recruitment’s Witham branch. “Take pride in your appearance. Establish a routine so you have a reason to get out of bed and on with your day. Use the space in your schedule to attend to stuff that’s easily put to one side when you’re busy with work.

“Those niggling health complaints you’ve been ignoring? Get to a doctor and have them checked out. That long overdue spring clean of your house? Get it done and you’ll feel a whole lot better about everything.”

Nine smart things to do while job hunting2. Get moving

“Use your spare time to enjoy some physical activity,” advises Kelly Lewis (Senior Recruitment Consultant) from Just Recruitment’s Sudbury office. “Working up a sweat will release endorphins in your body, making you feel positive and upbeat. That’ll come over when you apply for jobs, giving you a particular edge in interviews.

“If money’s tight because you’re not earning, there are loads of free resources online, including YouTube videos on everything from Yoga, Pilates and Zumba to Kickboxing, Martial Arts and Dance. So get downloading and get dancing: you’ll reap the rewards.”

3. Think about what you want from life

“Now’s the moment to stand back and really think about where you’d like your career to go,” says Caroline Coward (Recruitment Consultant) from the Sudbury branch. “This is particularly important if you’ve been dismissed from a role, as identifying where things went wrong will aid your learning for the future.

    “Now’s the moment to stand back and really think about where you’d like your career to go,”...  

“Whatever the circumstances that led to you being on the job market, you’ve got some welcome space to stand back, take stock, and work out what you want to happen next. With a clearer vision to drive you, you’ll have bags more energy and a much sharper focus.” 

4. Pick up some new self-care habits

“Looking after yourself is important, but self-care can easily slip when you’re busy searching for work,” says Airida Lazdauskiene (Recruitment Consultant) from Just’s Ipswich office. “Make time every day just to be. Maybe try some meditation techniques or stress management. Work on improving your sleep pattern or develop your time-management skills.

“The important thing is to establish self-care habits that will endure, even when you’re back in employment. That will help prevent burnout, making you a healthier, happier person.

Nine smart things to do while job hunting5. Improve your career prospects

“One reason people struggle to find work is that their qualifications aren’t right for the vacancies available,” says Jody Collings (Senior Recruitment Consultant) from Just's Witham office. “But this challenge is easily overcome: there are loads of free or low-cost courses that can enhance your skill set.

“Many of these courses can be easily completed through a few weeks of self-supported study. So you can tackle them in bite-size chunks, helping to keep you motivated and giving your CV a welcome boost in the process.”

6. Don’t be too proud to ask for help

“If you’re struggling financially while looking for work, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about asking for the support you’re entitled to,” says Tracey Bates, from the Witham branch. “There are lots of state benefits available, especially if you’ve paid National Insurance contributions for more than two years. These include Universal Credit, Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA), and Housing Benefit.

    There are whole communities online dedicated to saving you money,...  

“There’s a load of helpful information and guidance on the website, or you can visit a Job Centre to find out exactly what you’re entitled to.”

7. Embrace your inner miser

Kelly Lewis from Just’s Sudbury office says that some of her most dynamic candidates use their business acumen to save themselves money while job hunting.

“If you know where to look, there are loads of ways to reduce your spending,” she says. “That can relieve some of the financial pressure of unemployment. There are whole communities online dedicated to saving you money, including VoucherCodes, Topcashback, Quidco and”

Nine smart things to do while job hunting8. Overhaul your online profile

“If you’ve time on your hands, it makes a lot of sense to bring your social media profile up to date, and delete any embarrassing or awkward posts,” says Caroline Coward from Just Recruitment in Sudbury.

“Make sure your online presence shows you in the best possible light. Lots of recruiters will check you out before deciding whether or not to interview you. Give yourself a digital spruce up. You may find your job prospects receive a welcome shot in the arm.”

9. Be tempted by temping

Airida Lazdauskiene, who works in the Ipswich office, says that searching for permanent work may not be the smartest move for some job hunters.

“There are so many interesting temporary roles available that I advise some of my clients to consider these first,” she says. “For some people, temping provides a way of testing out a number of different jobs before settling on a favourite. For others, it’s a way of building their CV and making contacts with potential employers. Whatever your motivation, it’s a great way to earn while you’re applying for permanent posts.”

You can check out Just Recruitment’s selection of temporary and permanent, full- and part-time jobs here. Happy hunting!

Published: 29 June 2020

© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you found this piece helpful, you may like to read: How to use LinkedIn more effectively to help you get your next job

You may also enjoy: How to be successful in interviews

Jobs currently available

New job
Care Coordinator
Sector: Healthcare
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: BUC-CC
About the role

Back Up Care is recruiting for a Care Coordinator for their Colchester Office to work on the busy Healthcare desk.

Previous experience in scheduling care and support staff would be preferred and a healthcare background is an advantage. You will be extremely confident and well-presented and be able to use your own initiative.

This position will involve working alongside the Office Manager, supporting them with the day to day running of the desk.

The role will include:

  • Registration interviews with potential new candidates, and completion of all necessary compliance documents for successful candidates
  • Booking clients rotas to relevant active care staff, and ensuring that all care staff availability is booked to full potential
  • Service calls to clients that are using service meetings to ensure current clients’ needs are being met by Back Up Care
  • Telephone calls to prospect clients
  • Email and Mailers sent to prospect clients
  • Source leads for possible new business
  • Sales calls to obtain new business
  • Sales meetings to obtain new business
  • Ensure specialist software is updated with carer and client information and all bookings are entered onto the system
  • General administration duties
  • On-call rota duties

This requires you to work at an extremely fast pace, placing candidates into both temporary and permanent placements to match their qualifications, skills and experience.

There is a large amount of telephone calls liaison with candidates and clients, therefore excellent clear communicational skills are a must and excellent interpersonal skills are essential.

Other essential skills are:

  • An ability to work as part of a team and as a lone worker
  • A proven ability of effective time management and organisational skills
  • Excellent administrational skills are vital and attention to detail ensuring all candidates are compliant prior to assignment
  • Due to the requirements of the role, a driving licence and access to a vehicle for work purposes is essential

Holiday entitlement:

28 days holiday including public holidays, increasing to 33 days after 2-year service.

If you wish to apply for this role, please forward your CV to

Read more
New job
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site


  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more
Legal Secretary (Part-Time)
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: Up to £11.00 per hour
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910868
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting an established business, based in Witham looking to add a highly-skilled secretary to their long-standing team.

The role will involve, audio typing, preparing documents, answering the phone, dealing with enquiries and assisting colleagues as well as directing queries as needed.

Key responsibilities to include:

  • Audio typing – dictation
  • Preparing letters and drafting documents
  • Handling diaries and booking appointments
  • Answering the phone and dealing with queries
  • General secretarial and office-based duties

As well as having experience in a secretarial position, you will have audio typing experience and excellent typing skills. The role requires you to have a good level of IT literacy, experience of Word (essential) and Excel would be useful. You will take pride in your work and have a caring and sympathetic nature.

Please note this role is part-time.

This is a great opportunity, offering a good pay rate and company benefits.

Read more
Accounts Assistant
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £9.50 - £10.00 per hour
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910867
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Sudbury.

They are looking to add an Accounts Assistant with payroll experience to their team.

Key duties include:

  • Responsible for weekly and monthly payroll’s on Sage and all related duties (holiday forms etc.)
  • Knowledge of Xero accounts
  • Purchase Ledger
  • Sales Ledger
  • Chasing payments
  • Exporting mail-order invoices and credit notes from Magento to Xero
  • Assist Bookkeeper with any accounts duties
  • Assist Bookkeeper with HR Duties as needed
  • Reconciling Braintree payments to Mail Order invoices
  • Assist with stocktaking and valuation

Knowledge of Xero and Microsoft Office would be advantageous, although Sage experience would be considered. Attention to detail, good time management skills, accuracy, approachable and reliability is a must.

Free parking is available on site, offering a competitive hourly rate and an excellent working environment.

Read more